FBI St. Louis
St. Louis Press Office
(314) 589-2500
February 13, 2024

FBI Surprises NAACP St. Louis President

ST. LOUIS, MO—The FBI surprised NAACP St. Louis President Adolphus M. Pruitt II on his talk show on local iHeart radio. With the help of the show’s program director, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jay Greenberg “broke into programming” during the taping of the show last week to present the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). SAC Greenberg said, “We are honoring Adolphus for the way he consistently tries to bridge trust between law enforcement and the African American community to help heal the divide that ultimately hurts all sides.” You can watch the surprise announcement starting at 1:50 on the “Point Black” show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dONo2iLOw3U

The FBI St. Louis Division has worked with Mr. Pruitt on civil rights matters since he became president in 2010. He deliberately creates an environment for open discussions which encourages transparent input from all sides on matters important to the public. The most recent example is how he handled community concerns about injuries or deaths that resulted from police pursuits. He initiated and co-organized a town hall in June 2023 and invited the police departments to discuss the issue with residents. During the town hall, he emphasized that the NAACP is not saying one side is right or wrong. He added the risk is to the police officer, the subject, and innocent bystanders. Mr. Pruitt’s approach is non-confrontational in trying to promote open dialogue to affect change.

Mr. Pruitt also thought outside of the box in his ongoing efforts to create open dialogue. In 2023, he started hosting a one-hour radio talk show to discuss topics of community concern and invite guests to discuss in a civil, professional, and productive manner.

Mr. Pruitt convinced his co-host, prominent activist Rev. Darryl Gray, that it will be beneficial to invite the FBI as a guest. SAC Greenberg has since been a guest on the radio show multiple times. True to his approach, Mr. Pruitt’s goal was not to confront the FBI but to share concerns and at the same time give the FBI the opportunity to explain law enforcement’s perspective to help correct any misunderstandings that inevitably create mistrust.

For example, on the highly charged topic of officer-involved shootings, Mr. Pruitt agreed to help invite African American community leaders and critics to experience the split-second decisions officers make to shoot or not shoot using video simulation at the FBI. Mr. Pruitt even suggested the FBI invite local print reporters so the discussion could be shared beyond the group. Mr. Pruitt then invited SAC Greenberg to his radio show to discuss the experience.

On April 19, 2024, there will be a national ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. FBI Director Christopher Wray will personally present the award to Mr. Pruitt and other honorees selected by FBI field offices across the country. The FBI formally created the DCLA in 1990 as the principle means to honor individuals or organizations for their outstanding service to the local community and enduring contributions to the advancement of justice.

Past St. Louis DCLA Honorees:

  • 1990 Joseph Cunningham, former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player
  • 1991 The late Martin Mathews, Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club
  • 1993 The late Jean Leible, Neighborhood Activist
  • 1995 Pastor Harry Douma, Camp Penuel
  • 2005 The late Martin Mathews (two-time honoree)
  • 2006 Karen Aroesty, Anti-Defamation League
  • 2007 Pastor B. T. Rice, New Horizon Seventh Day Christian Church
  • 2008 Dave Sinclair, Dave Sinclair Auto Group
  • 2009 Bill Wilkerson, “Reach Out St. Louis!"
  • 2010 Dr. Stephen Bander, Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics
  • 2011 Anthony Thompson, Kwame Building Group – Mentor at Carnahan HS Gentlemen’s Club
  • 2012 Kimberly Ritter, Nix Conference & Meeting Management—Sex-trafficking prevention
  • 2013 Angel Baked—Social enterprise empowering inner city teens with jobs
  • 2014 Wehrenberg Theatres – Publicizing FBI safety messages during movie previews
  • 2015 Emerson’s Ferguson Forward Initiative
  • 2016 Shubert Design Furniture (in conjunction with Gary Sinise Foundation)
  • 2017 Danny Ludeman, President & CEO, Concordance Academy of Leadership
  • 2018 National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse—St. Louis Area – Opioid misuse
  • 2019 Missouri Masonic Children’s Foundation—MoCHIP
  • 2020 No honoree due to COVID-19 Pandemic
  • 2021 No honoree due to COVID-19 Pandemic
  • 2022 Michelle Li, President and Co-founder, Very Asian Foundation
St. Louis DCLA Award 2024

Special Agent in Charge Jay Greenberg surprises NAACP St. Louis President Adolphus M. Pruitt II (center) and Co-host Rev. Darryl Gray (left).